From Canvas to Flatness: A ready-made perspective


  • Christophe Schinckus Taylor's University, Malaysia



Flatness, Canvas, Readymade, Duchamp


This essay investigates the possibility of flatness in painting through the lens of readymade. In this perspective, the concept of flatness is questioned through its physical reduction as a white canvas. Through a creative gesture without leaving a mark, the artist invites viewers to think about the beginning and the end of painting. In other words, viewers can perceive something where they cannot directly see something. Because all untouched canvases are achromatic industrial sculpture composed by a high number of tiny asperities and a complex variation of shadows, they can actually not be considered as the phenomenalization of flatness. This claim is supported by several images illustrating the fractality of flatless canvas. In this context, this article analyzes the perceptive dimension of canvas as readymade by switching the focus of observers from painted elements (what is painted) to the painting ones (what composed the painted elements). In such context, this paper discusses the perception of untouched canvases as an experience of the flatness referring to the beginning and the end of painting.


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